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Begin the story here…

“And then we can play hide and seek,” Olivia chirped happily. “But you’ll be much better at it than I will. Yes, you will,” and I opened the door. She stopped talking immediately.

I dashed into the room, expecting someone else, some stranger to be there. Olivia went stiff in my arms. Looking around there was no one but me and her. The checkers set on the ground was set already as if two had been playing. I released her from my embrace.

“You decided to start playing checkers without me, huh?” She looked back at me. “How bout we play a game; you and me for a change.”

I knelt down by the board. The pieces had already been set as if in the middle of a game. But I began to reset the pieces back to the start. Olivia was quiet. As I glanced back at her she was biting her lip, and I dropped a red disk. The disk landed on edge and went rolling under the bed. With a sigh I got up to get it and bent my head down to get a look under the bed. Then the whole board came crashing next to me. The black and red pieces went rolling everywhere.

*This is part 12 of a longer story. Continue here.

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